NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Car burglaries occur every day. Usually the thief breaks in to a locked car. Sometimes, the auto owner makes it easy. Some Nacogdoches residents are learning the hard way to always lock their cars.
Pinecrest neighborhood resident Le'Ann Solmonson made a mistake last week. She didn't lock her car, something that's routine for this auto owner.
"I always lock my car, and I make sure I hear the beep," Solmonson said.
One oversight led to a car break-in discovered the next morning.
"It was like this," Solmonson said. All these napkins and stuff. It just looked like that."
About $10 worth of cup change was taken. Her neighbor across the street, who also had an unlocked car, got hit harder.
"They got her credit cards and spent $1,800 at Walmart at 3:30 in the morning," Solmonson said.
A spokesperson for the Nacogdoches Police Department said Walmart has surveillance video of the purchase, but right now, investigators aren't ready to release it. Meanwhile, the victims are wondering, why wasn't the retailer more diligent at the time of the purchase?"
"That's what upsets the most about all of this - that somebody comes in at 3:30 in the morning, and they buy a computer, a TV, and a sound bar at 3:30 in the morning, and nobody thinks that's unusual enough to check an ID," Solmonson said.
Police are accustomed to seeing how one mistake can lead to other oversights and crimes.
"These thieves are actually looking for easy targets, and people need to take care of their items and do a little bit of forethought and thinking, and make themselves a harder target," said Sgt. Greg Sowell, a spokesman for the Nacogdoches Police Department.
"Lock your car all the time," Solmonson said.